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ARTIST STATEMENT: Don Haggerty

Over the span of his art-making career, Don’s work has covered a broad range of styles and mediums, each one laying the groundwork for further inspirations (known to Don as “Gifting moments”). As a result, his body of work incorporates works large and small, and as diverse as oil-on-canvas, aerosol-on-panel, and sculptures whose figures can be found in the empty voids among their sculptural forms.


ARTIST STATEMENT

“Revelationalism”

It’s a big word for a small art movement. A one-person movement, actually—mine. The idea of Revelationalism rose from my belief that one good thing leads to another. Forward motion is inherent in art-making, implying growth, change, and the requirement to always be listening, watching, open to surprise. While defying all planning, the idea of being ever alert for revelations has provided me a plan for following my heart, and my art. That’s been my journey.


Sculpture

In 2009, while attending a modern ballet performance, because of the stage lighting and the dynamic interactions of the dancers, I began to imagine myself extracting the negative spaces from my paintings to become the positive elements of three-dimensional sculptures. I saw the positive elements of my paintings transform into the empty negative spaces between the sculptural elements, completely reversing the roles of positive and negative. The sculptures that resulted have since often been taken to be abstract works when first viewed. But when the figures at last appear to the viewer—sometimes suddenly—from within the empty spaces, the sculptures emerge as the truly figurative works they were created to be.


Dancer Studies

Spurred by the work I’d been doing in both sculpture and painting, in 2013 I began creating an ongoing series of dancer studies in two-dimensions—large paintings (oil on canvas) and small studies (oil bar on panel). These continue to be focused on combining and layering forms, simplification and motion, and balancing of positive and negative spaces.


ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Don Haggerty was born in Seattle, Washington but grew up in Taiwan (1957-1970) where he acknowledges having gained from Chinese artists his deep appreciation for the beauty and power of a finely executed brush stroke. “A brush ballet,” Don calls it. It was after moving back to Seattle that his desire to lay down his own brush strokes found its way to canvas through the irresistible lure of figurative painting—with “all its magic of gesture, pattern, asymmetry, drapery and endless possibilities of light.”


Over the span of his art-making career, Don’s work has covered a broad range of styles and mediums, each one laying the groundwork for further inspirations (known to Don as “Gifting moments”). As a result, his body of work incorporates works large and small, and as diverse as oil-on-canvas, aerosol-on-panel, and sculptures whose figures can be found in the empty voids among their sculptural forms.


Don’s work has been exhibited widely in the Pacific Northwest, and on both U.S. coasts. And from his experiences, Don has frequently had the opportunity to share with groups of artists and art lovers alike, about his journey as an artist and what it means to live a life of listening for, and embracing, gifting moments all along the way.

Go Figure! is on view now through December 6 in the Nichols Gallery. This striking exhibition will expand your definition of figurative art.

We thank our sponsors- The Honeywell Charitable Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, Town of Friday Harbor, San Juan Island Community Foundation, Anonymous, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Printonyx, Harbor Rental, Browne’s Home Center, Tucker House, Friday Harbor Grand, and Friday Harbor House.

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